Buying A Miniature Horse

     

 

 

Should you wish to buy a Miniature Horse there are several points to remember:

 

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The Miniature Horse is a scaled-down version of a full sized horse, and should be a small, sound well balanced horse, possessing the conformation characteristics desirable of most breeds. Miniatures have been produced by selectively breeding down in size but yet maintaining as near perfect conformation as possible.

 

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The Miniature Horse is a height breed and a full grown Miniature Horse will not exceed the maximum height of the two height categories:

No Category A horse shall exceed 34 inches in height

No Category B horse shall exceed 38 inches in height

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If you have no experience with horses take someone knowledgeable with you.

 

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Registration: you should ensure that your horse is registered with NZMHA or at least qualifies for NZMHA registration as this provides you the best possible guarantee that your horse’s pedigree is accurate. Make sure the vendor explains the registration process, or e-mail the NZMHA Registrar if you need any help.

 

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Temperament: Miniatures should have a gentle affectionate nature. Regular handling will improve the flighty horse, but nastiness & vices should not be tolerated (fortunately they are rare – it is a characteristic of the breed that Miniatures have a good temperament).

 

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Conformation: Should be the same as a large horse, the general appearance being balance & symmetry.

 

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Have a good idea of what you want from your Miniature. Will it be for showing, breeding, driving or do you want a pet. Obviously if you want a pet, you can buy a cheaper horse that may have a few conformation faults. If you want a show or breeding horse you will have to pay more to get a better quality horse.

 

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Quality Miniature mares and fillies are the most expensive and the hardest to find. Many breeders keep their best stock, or expect a premium price for those they sell.

 

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A good mouth is essential – many health problems are caused by the horse being unable to extract the right nutrition from food, often caused by poor teeth & mouth conformation.

 

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Do not buy a cute little Miniature foal without checking its dam’s and sire’s height. It’s parents heights will give you some guidelines as to how big it will grow.

 

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Remember you will generally pay more money for something that will stay under 34 inches high, so you want to make sure to the best of your ability that it will. Foals that are born under 22 inches will usually stay under 34 inches. The rule of thumb is to add 12 inches to the birth height, however this is only a guide and doesn’t always work. Many breeders offer some form of height guarantee.

 

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 Make sure you get a sale and purchase agreement and that the terms of the arrangement are clearly understood by all parties.